Uruguay is modifying its energy mix with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, by boosting the contribution of non-conventional clean energy sources through public-private partnerships and new investments. Today, majority of Uruguay’s energy mix already comes from renewable sources.
“By the end of 2014, this country’s energy mix was made up of 55% renewable sources, compared to a global average of just 12%,” said Ramón Méndez, president of the National Climate Change Response System.
Uruguay’s Energy Efficiency Plan aims to reduce energy consumption in all sectors, especially in the residential and transportation sectors, which will be responsible for 75% of the country’s total accumulated reduction by 2024.
In addition, Uruguay’s Investment Promotion Law has been modified to offer tax breaks so that at least 5% of the investment in any given project goes towards renewable energy.
There was a structural shift in Uruguay’s energy consumption mix since 2008, which has remained unchanged for the past seven years. Industry is the biggest consumer (39%), followed by transportation (29%), residential (19%), commerce and services (8%), and lastly agriculture, fishing and mining (5%).
According to Gerardo Honty, “the important change came in regard to wind power – that is where changes became necessary and challenges were addressed.” Honty is an expert with the Latin American Centre for Social Ecology. Wind energy today represents almost 1,000 MW of installed capacity.
Uruguay is forecasting that when the transformation of its energy industry is complete, greenhouse gas emissions will be 20 to 40 times lower than the global average, said Méndez, the top official in the climate change response office.